Also called: Analytical Chemist, Chemist, Forensic Scientist, Research Chemist
In the Air Force: Biomedical Laboratory, Environmental and Industrial Hygiene Chemistry
In the Navy: Chemist
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Chemicals make up our world. Some are natural, others are synthetic - made by people. But every chemical is unique, and behaves differently under changing conditions, such as when heated, exposed to light, or combined with other substances. Chemists study how chemicals affect each other, and how they interact with the environment. They conduct experiments in laboratories, and analyze results and data. Most chemists use databases, scientific software, graphics, and design and photo imaging tools in their work. Chemists work with many different materials in different fields, from energy development to medicine and food processing. They have invented and improved products like medicines, fibers, paints, adhesives, cosmetics, and electronic components, to name just a few. Chemical manufacturing plants employ many chemists in production and quality control, where safety is critical. Interdisciplinary fields, like biochemistry and geochemistry, are also growing. Besides manufacturing, chemists work in colleges and universities, government, and independent testing and research laboratories. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related science is required to enter the field. Many working chemists have a master’s degree or a PhD in chemistry. They usually specialize in a particular field. For any chemistry position, curiosity, the ability to focus on details, and painstaking follow-through are essential “elements” of success.
What they do:Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
On the job, you would:
- Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.
- Conduct quality control tests.
- Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.
Math and Science
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
Engineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
People and Technology Systems
Ideas and Logic
Hand and Finger Use
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
See more details at O*NET OnLine about chemists.